Young Adult Manga for Summer

by Jared Richards

Young Adult Manga for Summer

by Alex Urbanek, Collection Services Librarian

Laid-Back Camp Vol. 1 eBook : Afro, Afro: Books -

Since I was little, summertime was a time to go to the public library, and fully immerse myself in  manga. My school library never really had a selection of graphic novels or manga, so the public library was my haven. Even now as an adult I always get the itch to read new manga as soon as the weather turns warm. As a collection development librarian, I get the honor to supply our children’s and young adult collections with many books, and I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to purchase and read much of the manga we have on the shelves, including some that is less well known than say, Black Butler or Spy X Family.

Starting off with a very relaxed manga is, “Laid-Back Camp” by Afro. This series follows Rin Shima, Nadeshiko Kagamihara, and their camping club as they travel Japan to different camp sites. The manga focuses on friendships, camping, and camp cooking. Detailing the recipes they prepare and the different tools needed to make them while camping. The art of the backgrounds, both camp sights and mountainous views is gorgeous. This series is not high stakes at any point, just cozy camping fun.

What happens to an adventuring party when the adventuring ends? “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” by Kanehito Yamada gives us a glimpse of life from the perspective of an elf mage Frieren, after her and her party defeat the demon king. Frieren decides to travel on her own after the adventure and comes back to visit her friends after 50 years. As an elf, 50 years is nothing to Frieren, but her old friends have continued to age and one is on his deathbed when she finally sees him. He insists she take on his charge as an apprentice while she continues to adventure, and Frieren begrudgingly accepts. It was really great to read a story about life after the adventure, especially from the point of view of a magical being who ages achingly slowly, while the rest of the world continues on.

Love Me for Who I Am” by Kata Konayama is an extremely cute manga set in an unconventional maid café. Non-binary student Mogumo can’t find a place where they feel like they belong and dress in the very soft and cute way they like. When one of their classmates, Iwaoka Tetsu, mentions his sibling’s maid café, where men dress up as cute maids, Mogumo is immediately interested. While working at the café Mogumo may finally find a place to belong with the other staff, some of who are transgender or gay.

When an adventuring party is defeated by a dragon, losing all of their food, money, and a party member, they have to find a way to survive while going back to save their friend. “Delicious in Dungeon” by Ryoko Kui is a story about adventurers figuring out how to eat the monsters in the dungeon so they can make their way back without needing to sell their gear. With help from a dwarf who himself knows quite a bit about monster cooking, they show the recipes they make and how to prepare all variety of monster. This is a very fun take on dungeon crawling, focusing on the usefulness of the monsters they find instead of blindly killing.

Mika was a regular human heading home from Comiket, but the next thing she knew she woke up reincarnated in a magical world. “A Witch’s Printing Office” by Mochinchi has Mika trying to find a spell to get home. The best way she can think of is to create her own Convention style event “Magic Market”. The convention gets much more traffic than Mika thought it would and ends up turning into a staple for the magical world. This book is pure fun. Seeing Mika struggle to contain the crowds, even with the help of royal guards who severely underestimated the excitement of the crowd, rings true to the struggle of an overexcited and overpacked comic convention.

These titles and other amazing manga can be found in our graphic novel sections of the Manhattan Public Library. They are a great way to get your reading time up for summer reading and get some fun and exciting prizes!